Corporate / CSR

July 20, 2018


Asahi Breweries Succeeds in Long Continuous SOFC Power Generation Using Biogas Produced in Wastewater Treatment

Keywords: Corporate Environmental Technology 

Image by Kirakirameister Some Rights Reserved.

Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. announced on May 15, 2018, that it had established a process to purify the biomethane gas (biogas) produced in the wastewater treatment process at breweries into high-purity biogas suitable for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) power generation. Using the purified biogas as a fuel, Asahi conducted a power generation experiment on a SOFC power generation test device jointly developed with Kyushu University Next-Generation Fuel Cell Research Center, and successfully generated electricity for more than 2000 consecutive hours.

Asahi has introduced anaerobic wastewater treatment equipment at its 13 breweries in Japan, allowing it to treat wastewater discharged from the manufacturing process by a fermentation method to produce biogas. This plant-derived, carbon-neutral biogas is then burned in boilers, etc., and reused as heat energy in the facilities. If the biogas were to be used in SOFC power generation to produce electricity more efficiently, however, further reductions in CO2 emissions can be expected.

When using biogas in SOFC power generation, impurities in the gas can interfere with power generation; thus, for steady power generation, it is critical to eliminate the impurities. To solve this problem, Asahi has established a new purification process and developed a system that can produce high-purity biogas at a low startup cost.

Since Asahi started continuous power generation on a test SOFC power generation device, the device has been successfully working for more than 2000 consecutive hours without any occurrence of the biogas inhibiting power generation. The company says it will continue the test up to 10,000 hours to investigate seasonal variations caused by the biogas.